OCTOBER 1, 1962 – Barbra Streisand signed her 1st recording contract. Columbia label president Goddard Lieberson initially resisted signing Streisand to a contract, finding her style too close to the cabaret singers he disliked and too far from the understated approach of Jo Stafford or Rosemary Clooney, who recorded for the label in the 1950s.
After exposure to Streisand’s television interview with Mike Wallace on PM East/PM West and pressure from associates, Lieberson relented and agreed to sign her.Nearly three decades later Streisand would reflect: “The most important thing about that first contract – actually, the thing we held out for – was a unique clause giving me the right to choose my own material. It was the only thing I really cared about. I still received lots of pressure from the label to include some pop hits on my first album, but I held out for the songs that really meant something to me.”Despite Lieberson’s initial objections, Streisand went on to become one of Columbia’s most enduring artists.
She has recorded 50 studio albums, almost all with Columbia Records. Her early works in the 1960s (her debut “The Barbra Streisand Album,” “The Second Barbra Streisand Album,” “The Third Album,” “My Name Is Barbra,” etc.) are considered classic renditions of theatre and cabaret standards, including her pensive version of the normally uptempo “Happy Days Are Here Again.”